Poor sanitation is the primary cause of ant infestations. Leaving dirty dishes in the sink, food residue on countertops, crumbs on the floor and trash not frequently emptied provide food sources for meal-seeking ants. What starts with a few foragers entering a home can become a major problem if ants establish colonies in walls, lawns, or under home foundations.
One of the biggest problems related to ants in the home is food contamination. Ants carry bacteria on their bodies, which spreads when they crawl in pantries and across countertops. Only a few species are known to transmit diseases, but finding any type of ant in pantry goods or inside the home is an unpleasant experience that creates nuisances.
Some species, like carpenter and fire ants, cause additional problems. A carpenter ant infestation can do costly damage by chewing tunnels through wood beams. Fire ant stings that involve envenomation can cause pain and more serious symptoms that often result in allergic reactions to some people who are hyper-sensitive to ant stings.
Ant control can be difficult, but there are some things you should know about how ants’ behavior can lead to big headaches for you and your home: